News Roundup for August 5, 2021

August 5, 2021

Receive the roundup in your inbox every morning!


J Street works to promote an open, honest and rigorous conversation about Israel. The opinions reflected in articles posted in the News Roundup do not necessarily reflect J Street’s positions, and their posting does not constitute an endorsement from J Street.

J Street in the News

Does the new US foreign spending bill condition aid to Israel? J Street says yes, AIPAC says no., JTA
“For the first time, the foreign operations spending bill requires generally (without specifying Israel) that the secretary of state must report to Congress that assistance to other counties is spent ‘consistent with United States national security policy.’ […] J Street says the language is a new stipulation, ever so slightly turning up the heat on Israel to not use money that would inhibit the outcome of a Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution.”

Ben & Jerry’s is not being antisemitic – it’s being principled, Jewish Chronicle
Jonathan Freedland writes, “Mark the words of Jeremy Ben-Ami, the leader of America’s J Street organisation, who declared that ‘when Ben & Jerry’s says it wants to sell ice cream in Israel but not in the settlements, that seems – to me – a rational and principled, even pro-Israel, position.’ He’s right. Far from being anti-Israel, Ben & Jerry’s have reasserted the distinction between Israel-proper and the occupied territories. They have signalled to progressive-minded customers that you can be opposed to settlements without being opposed to Israel itself.”

Top News and Analysis

JNF Set to Approve Plan That Could Lead to Palestinians’ Eviction, Haaretz
A new initiative by the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael) on registration of properties beyond the Green Line could lead to the eviction of Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. JNF’s board of directors is set to meet on Thursday to approve the plan, which entails reviewing 17,000 property assets across Israel and the West Bank that have not been registered to date.

Iran to Swear In New President as Unease Grows Over Nuclear Deal, Wall Street Journal
For the first time in years, all branches of power in Iran are set to fall under the control of hard-liners when a protégé of the supreme leader is sworn in as president, bolstering their power and adding to growing unease that the Islamic Republic’s relations with the West could worsen. President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, 60 years old, studied as a young man at one of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s Islamic seminaries. He also served on a panel that ordered the execution of thousands of political prisoners.

One Week, Four Palestinian Deaths, All in Unjustified Circumstances, Haaretz
The Haaretz Editorial Board writes, “When he started his job as Israel Defense Forces chief of staff two and a half years ago, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said, ‘Our goal is fielding a lethal army.’ Kochavi kept that promise, and last week was especially lethal.”


In test for Israel’s new government, rockets from Lebanon fired into northern Israel, Washington Post
Sirens sent residents in northern Israel running for shelter Wednesday after three rockets were launched from southern Lebanon, drawing rounds of cross-border Israeli ­artillery fire and rare overnight strikes, escalating a ­regional security situation seen as a test for Israel’s new government. The relatively small-scale operation, in which two rockets landed in open fields near the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shemona and another came down inside Lebanon, was carried out by Palestinian groups along Lebanon’s southern border, according to Israeli media. The munitions sparked blazes in both Lebanon and Israel, where extreme heat and strong winds recently have compounded the risk of wildfires.

Biden plans shift in arms export policy to favor human rights, Reuters
U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is preparing an overhaul of arms export policy to increase the emphasis on human rights, a departure from former President Donald Trump’s prioritization of economic benefits to U.S. defense contractors, four people familiar with the initiative said.

Palestinian dad expects no justice for son killed by Israel, AP
The Israeli military has opened an investigation into the killing of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Alami who was shot by Israeli soldiers as he rode in the family car. But that is no comfort to his father, who is devastated by his son’s death and has little faith that he will see justice.

Did a pro-Palestinian campus group actually call for the ‘defunding’ of Hillel?, JTA
For the past several months, American Jews concerned about antisemitism on campus have had their eyes trained on Rutgers University. […] So when social media posts began popping up last week accusing the Rutgers chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine of calling to “defund Hillel,” it seemed to confirm many people’s fears. […] In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League said the demand to “halt funding for the Hillel” was “outrageous.” There was just one catch: The call to defund Hillel never happened.

In Gaza, Childhoods Lost to the Trauma of War, US News & World Report
Gazans’ life experiences underscore the unique emotional challenges they face living under constant occupation and frequent conflict. A study released this summer says 9 out of 10 children in Gaza suffer from some form of conflict-related trauma.

Opinion and Analysis

We got Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling in Israeli settlements. Here’s how we did it, The Guardian
Mark Hage writes, “I spent the last decade organizing with fellow activists in Vermont to convince Ben & Jerry’s to end its business in Israel’s settlements. The company’s statement, therefore, was a welcome step towards a more just world. But this principled decision was met with a barrage of baseless accusations of antisemitism from Israeli leaders, along with threats to punish the company using anti-BDS laws that crack down on Americans’ constitutionally protected right to boycott.”

The Military Is Looting Israel, Haaretz
Uri Misgav writes, “Since the appointment of IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, they’ve been telling us that he aspires to have a ‘lethal army,’ includes philosophical messages in his thinking and all he is interested in is improving and strengthening the army – his multi-year Momentum plan. The truth is that first and foremost, Kochavi functions as the chairman of the strongest and most aggressive union in the country. At least from this aspect, he has achieved his goals: It is a lethal cartel.”

Enough of the legal gymnastics: Why Israel should let its gold medalist marry, Times of Israel
David Horovitz writes, “There lies the absurdity of the current situation in Israel, where an estimated 400,000 Israeli citizens — Jewish enough to qualify for citizenship, but not halachically Jewish — cannot get married here, but can have their civil marriage recognized by the state if they wed overseas.”

Saving the World Means Leaving the Old Order Behind, Haaretz
Yosef Gotlieb writes, “The news about global warming is grim, but inaction is not an option. A small window still remains to forestall irreparable damage and leave future generations a livable planet. All aspects of social and individual life, including diets, transportation, production, consumption, housing, the clothes we wear and our leisure-time activities will have to be rethought and refashioned. There is an opportunity in this: building stronger, fairer and healthier societies.”